This weekend

Oats are a nervous system tonic. In today's world who doesn't need a nervous system tonic?

 I bought Beren a pair of scissors for our last drive up to the Catskills. I held my Ace of Spades card tightly and did not reveal it until the long, boring ride home. "I have something for you, Beren." His eyes lit up when he saw, "Szizzas". The backseat of the Toyota is still littered with shapes vaguely looking like animal silhouettes. I did most of the cutting and Beren most of the tossing. It got us through that desperate stretch of Route 287. 

Now, we use the scissors on all kinds of things, like trimming garden plants. Above are oats that we harvested from our cover crop of peas, oats, and vetch. I'm so very lucky to have a two and a half year old that I can feel comfortable with using scissors on his own. 

Jared and I have realized that Beren has stepped into another state of being. He needs to be with other children. He is hungry for attention, much of which we can provide, but neither of us plays as children do. He also needs bigger challenges - he climbs higher and faster. He does jigsaw puzzles. He strings laces through shoes and beads onto strings. None of this is done perfectly, nor without occasional shrieks of frustration (wonder where he got his temper from? Both sides.).

As Beren grows, our garden has become a place of diversion and healing for us. It's great, truly, truly great. We relax up there. We visit the garden when my blood pressure needs to be leveled out. And happily, Beren requests to visit the garden multiple times a day.

We pick blueberries - "bluies" Beren calls them. Bluies fix all. When I watch his focused gaze and dextrous fingers, I think that a blueberry bush is the best object for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. Forget the Haba or Plan Toys website. Forget research on non-toxic paints and toy manufacturer's claims about sustainable forestry practices. Buy two blueberry bushes (two for better pollination).

Our peas and strawberries have gone by. But, we celebrated by "kunchin" (crunching) the massive wall of oats and peas down by marching barefoot across them.

Briefly, the garden became an upsetting place. Our landlords brought out two mowers, and then I brought out ours. Three mowers buzzed nearby. Beren was shaken. He does not like loud noises. When the mower starter cord broke, Jared took out the little tilller. Beren frantically shouted, "Up! Up!" and gestured for me to pick him up. We watched the tiller bounce in Jared's arms. It did look upsetting, so we went to the house for a snack. "I'm sorry that the garden became a scary place, Beren," I said.

Earlier in the week a friend, who has a son under a year old told me, "I don't like when moms don't admit that it's hard. Whose sake are they doing that for? For mine?" I agreed, and so I will say, though this weekend was full of great moments - a couple solstice parties, kunchin in the garden, a trip to Duke Farms - we had some bleak moments. When I saw a couple friends at one party, I felt like crying on their shoulders, but I stuffed the feelings down. Tonight, I am relaxed and happy. I put a relaxed and happy child to sleep.

I feel a lot better. Just lettin' you know.

 Our greenhouse looks great

Purslane time in the garden. The solstice and moon pulled this plants from prostrate to upright. 

 Sunday visit to Duke Farms with a couple of friends. I love when friends are good with my son. We have many friends that are so sweet with Beren. 

Everyone always asks my son, "Where did you get that blonde hair?" Today was no different. A woman inquired as we waited for the Duke Farms tram. Duke Farms is like Disney World, but free and is located in central New Jersey and has a deer fence, orchids, wildflowers but no Mickey, Minnie, Epcot Center or log flume. So, it's just like Disney, you see?